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Poster: HistoryTeacher Date: May 8, 2005 1:02am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives

A little about myself...I am currently teaching US History to (reluctant) 16-year olds in a large, mostly poor and African-American high school in small-town South Carolina. While certified to teach social studies, this certification is an add-on to my primary certification, which is in Business Education. In fact, Business Ed is what the MAT is in. My background before belatedly coming into teaching was in IT and the printing industry.

The way I backed into teaching history has its advantages and disadavantages. On the downside, I have ZERO training in the pedagogy of teaching social stuides. My student teaching experience was almost entirely in running keyboarding and computer applications labs, and my social studies exposure was limited to informaly observing a few classes of varying quality. So, when I found myself tossed into teaching history, I was realy in trouble for the first few months. Lots of reading from the book, have them do a worksheet-type crap. They hated it, and I hated it, too. And to top it off, I was floating from class to class and had no way of preparing whiteboars in advance, that sort of thing.

But then, I started to do something a bit different...I started to put the IT skills to work. I built a cart and put a 25" TV out of a pawn shop on it, along with a PC, several sets of PC speakers, and enough of a UPS to keep the thing running as I pushed it from class to class. I started preparing notes in PowerPoint, with pictures and music clips and, increasingly, full-motion video from this and other sources.

Now, there is a chance that I will be able to do this sort of thing at the district level for all the social studies teachers in the district. The videos, the PowerPoint notes, the custom-tailored worksheets to go with the videos, the whole thing, and I am realy looking forward to the posibility, but I have a lot of questions.

And, all of these questions need to be answered in two possibly very different contexts: one where I am producing materials for non-commercial, in-house use within a school system, and one where I am packaging them up for commercial sale to other educators and educational systems. I know that you all are not media lawyers or such, but this seems to be a very good place to start.

So, I gather that, once I establish that something is fully in the public domain, I can have my merry way with it and do with it as I please, with certain caveats regarding music, recognisable celebrities, fameous cartoon characters, etc.

How might I establish that? :)

Also, I note that some of the titles in my (prodigeous, and still growing) collection of history-related DVDs are in the PD in their entirety, and I can confirm this by finding them here on the IA flagged as such. But, if I cant find them here or in some simlilar place, what is the deal with, for instance, ripping the MPEG-2 files from the DVD? The material is in the PD, the menues, packaging, ect. is clearly copyrightable, but if I rip the file from the DVD, did this PD material somehow become copyrighted by its having been digitized? If I care to look into getting access to footage from, say, Frank Capra's Why We Fight series (PD, right?), and I can't source it from anyplace else, then can I rip it from the Madacy DVD set I have (being careful to leave their menues, trivia questions and all that alone) and the resuting MPEG-2 file PD, or do I want to look at getting some sort of licence or permission from Madacy?

And this, specific to the Prellinger Archives: perhaps Rick himself would care to chime in..I sure hope so...Lets say I like to use the film Teddy (1971)in class...and I do, because it is in my mind the perfect transitional piece in an African-American history lesson to get us from the 1960s and the "classical" civil rights movement to the "modern era". I use it every semester in fact. I gather that this is a perfectly acceptable use for this material.

Now, if I package it up, with the supporting materials that I have developed, burn it to CD or DVD and deliver it to all of my peers in the school or district as part of my job, that is still OK, right? I would think so.

Now, what happens if I take that same disk, set of materials, etc. and then offer it for sale to other educators? Do I need to go to Getty and be prepared to do some major suffering in the old wallet, or what? I know stock footage is what pays the bills for you, so I want to make sure I am making legitimate use of what you generously offer here. I am not talking about cranking out cheapy DVDs for sale at Dollar Tree...I mean stuff that is realy only fit for classroom use. And as you know, money is tight for schools, so this sort of thing would be more likely than not bought by teachers with their own money.

I belive that this site (both the PC and the rest of the IA) is an absolutly fabulous collection of video and sound resources, which are after all the 20th centurys most distinctive "original source documents" for historians. I belive that the material here has the power to transform the teaching of history and of social studies in general. This is where I want to be as a history teacher: on the vanguard of something new.

And I am very thankful for Rick and the others that make the IA what it is.

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Poster: Toomy Date: May 10, 2005 7:28am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives

Regarding the playback of archive files on a DVD player: Two years ago I burned an MPEG-2 file to a CD--that's right, a CD, not a DVD. Just a straight burn, no special encoding etc. etc. I then put it in a $30 APEX DVD player. Worked perfectly. It took the player a few seconds to recognize the disk, but once it did, it looked and sounded fine. For classroom use this seems a viable alternative for the technology impaired.

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Poster: Rick Prelinger Date: May 8, 2005 2:12am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives

Per the Crestive Commons license, the films from the Prelinger collection are PD. This means that we do not restrict the use of downloaded materials. Yes, as you mention, there are other issues regarding PD material of which you need to be aware, but since many of these issues arise out of specific uses of the material, we can't anticipate all of them ourselves. That's why people pay Getty for licenses -- Getty will indemnify them for the use of specific items in specific contexts. The Internet Archive cannot.

In an ideal world, I'd hope that most redistribution of our films would happen for free, but that's not really realistic. I'm happier when people sell materials for educational or scholarly purposes than I am when people assemble DVD compilations for sale on eBay and fail to attribute the films to their actual source. Worse than that, some people say the films come from their own collections and slap all kinds of forbidding copyright notices on the DVDs.

It is great to hear from someone who is using the material in such significant ways. Good luck, and write me if you need further info.

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Poster: Visual16 Date: May 8, 2005 5:31pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives


I can't help but want to join in here. Some months ago, Maryz needed a DVD with some edits from "New Girl in the Office" for a college lecture and was asking for help with editing the film on her computer. She got great advice from members of the board on how to create a DVD using Final Cut Pro, etc. But I felt for her, realizing that this can be difficult for a newbie without some practice. I downloaded it, made a disk of it and was going to send it to her to help out. It worked fine at my home, but when I showed it to my parents on their DVD player, there was no sound! Worried that it might not work, I scrapped the disk. I am still learning about these things.

I have seen so many messages over the past several years from teachers on this board that would like to have shown Prelinger films to their classes, but got stuck in the editing stage, or the burning stage of making the disks.
I would love to continue studying MPEG and DVD so that thousands of children in our country and around the world can enjoy these one-of-a-kind masterpieces. I don't believe teachers should all have to individually master digital A\V tech just to share these with their students.

Specific question to Rick,
I remember some years ago when Millenium Copyright Act was discussed in my media class, the notion of "fair use" was supposed to act as an extra protection against lawsuits, because the copied material was intended for educational use. Wouldn't the fact that the material is both Public Domain to start with and used for educational purposes be about as safe as it gets?
Other than "repackaged" PD goods, have there ever been legal instances where someone got in trouble for selling or marketing these materials for classroom use?

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Poster: Erniest Date: May 8, 2005 6:44pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives

I don't know anythig about copyright, but doing DVD's is really esay if you use Nero software. You will have the disk in one or two hours, depending on the PC speed. It's easy to use and will guide you through the whole process.
I'm not involved with Nero, just paid mt licence fee and I'm happy with it.

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Poster: Visual16 Date: May 8, 2005 8:10pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives

Certain files don't work with Nero. It won't resample the audio, it won't resize the aspect ratio. Some of the files have been repaired but others only produce coasters. If the file size and audio are correct, I can burn under 20 min.
I'll repost my question to Rick in a new post.

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Poster: sgs Date: May 9, 2005 8:14am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives


While it is true that certain files don't work with Nero out of the box, there are many shareware codices that can easily be installed to make Nero work with almost any av file type.
http://www.free-codecs.com is noe such site.

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Poster: Erniest Date: May 8, 2005 8:32pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives

Do you have the latest package? I usually use Nerovision Express and change from NTSC to PAL and there is never a problem.
Sometimes I add spanish subtitles for my friends, but you need other programs for that. In this case, I use the encoding done with Nero and reauthor the DVD
Some of the Nero versions bundled with recorders are not fully functional

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Poster: MrMovie Date: May 9, 2005 12:19am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives

Let me toss my two-cents worth of thoughts in here about editing since I own a video/motion picture production company and we produce and edit film, tape and DVDs on a daily basis. There are other ways of editing that do not involve the use of a computer based program within your computer. There are other options. Most people are content with purchasing a computer program to do all of their editing because they are the least expensive way to go for the average consumer. We also have computer based editing programs most of which were custom made for our needs and to our specifications. However, for certain editing projects (in real time) we use a host of various editors and programs that are NOT computer reliant. There are self-contained editing boards and decks that use everything from Mini-DV to Digi-Beta to Digital-S formats. Granted, most of these types of editing equipment is beyond the financial reach of Joe Average consumer. However, there are consumer editing decks and accessories that are within the price range of the general consumer which would permit you to DL any file off the archive and feed that out of your computer and onto an Digital Tape. Once you have it on Digital Tape you open up a whole host of options in the editing process including remastering in THX and/or remixing into Dolby Surround Sound. Making the DVD from the finished edited product using this process is as simple as playback from your source into your DVD burner. We experimented with a few films from the archive that were in 'not so great shape' and in our spare time remastered them and they came out looking like brand new prints sans a few light scratch marks here and there. A good example of this was on one of the Universal Newsreels that was listed as "Poor Quality" When we got finished with it, that "poor Quality" was all but gone. We were able to take the film and make a negative out of it, rework the negative to refine the resolution, contrast and sharpness and then produce a new positive. As for poor sound we isolated the sound track and remixed in Dolby Digital to make it crystal clear. Most people would never bother with going through all of this let alone the expense of the equipment which is why production studios and editing facilites exist. However, if you have some spare change you can get a basic editing suite for under $5,0000 that would work fine for most average consumers who want to extend there editing experiences beyond their computers.

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Poster: sgs Date: May 9, 2005 8:22am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives

More than likely the dvd player was at fault with the no sound problem. Often you must go to a setup menu and make sure all audio is turned on usually to "Raw" or "PCM"

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Poster: Visual16 Date: May 9, 2005 2:08pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: Educational And/Or Commercial Uses of the Archives

Yup. Learned that after it was too late.
There used to be a list of which DVD players that were or weren't VCD and or DVD_R compatible. It sort of hampers wanting to go into a small business making these for people, if they have the wrong player, they'll get upset. Most people don't want to look through a database of hundreds of players to see if theirs will work. Beyond that there are tons of asian DVD players that aren't even on the list!